12 Sep 2002 goingware   » (Master)

How to Do Foreign Currencies in GnuCash?

I finally tried out GnuCash (1.6.6, from Debian Woody) today and I must say I think it is very nice. But for the life of me I cannot get foreign currency transactions to work.

If I can do transactions in both Canadian and U.S. currency it would be a lifesaver. Up until now I've been doing my U.S. transactions in Quicken for Windoze and my Canadian transactions in a spreadsheet.

We live in the U.S., but my wife is Canadian and we also have a Canadian checking account and some Canadian bills.

I've tried without success to enter the following two transactions:

  • I wired USD$785 from my U.S. bank to my Canadian bank. When it arrived it was credited to my Canadian account with an exchange rate of 1.5345
  • I withdrew USD$40 in cash from a U.S. ATM machine from my Canadian bank. In their web banking, the Canadian bank said they gave me an exchange rate of 1.584.

I've pored over the instructions in the GnuCash manual many times, but for the life of me I cannot get it to come out right. Always there is some account that is off, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.

I hate Quicken, I really do. I'd like to delete it from my Windoze partition and use PGP to cryptographically scramble the freespace on my drive, then burn the CD.

But before I do, I need to figure out GnuCash. I've posted to a couple mailing lists, but no one has responded so far. Is there a more detailed explanation than the manual anywhere to be found?


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